mon 15/04/2024

Album: Everything Everything - Mountainhead | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Everything Everything - Mountainhead

Album: Everything Everything - Mountainhead

The visionary art-rock group return with dystopian, yet creative and well-earned follow-up

'A well-earned, fine-tuned follow up full of its own personality'

There are few bands who can claim to operate in a similar visionary style as Everything Everything. Since their 2010 debut Man Alive, the Manchester group have played in a space all their own, dissecting the structures of human relationships from the personal to the political all while refining an experimental yet accessible art-rock sound.

With their last album, 2022’s Raw Data Feel, they demonstrated again how ahead of the curve they are by utilising AI in their creative process. Their exploration of future-tech was a heady experience supercharged with creativity and spontaneity. It was also human and personable, contemplating grief and personal loss.

Now, the four piece return once more with their seventh album, Mountainhead. The creative process this time around has been streamlined – out with AI, all hands on deck as all members had a large input in its creation. As with their previous efforts, there is a narrative at the core of Mountainhead through which frontman Jonathan Higgs delivers his characterful lyrics and vocals. The story this time centres on an alternate society which has built an immense mountain. All of this society works to make the mountain bigger, making the hole they live in around the bottom of the mountain deeper and deeper.

While it paints a dystopian future, it links to religion and capitalism in our own time. It’s also not overbearing or over the top, their trademark boundless variety and creativity keeps things fresh, like “TV Dog” which waltzes in circles on plucked strings.

The end result brims with soundscapes so rich and immersive they bely the “back to basics” approach. From opener “Wild Guess”, which opens with guitarist/producer Alex Robertshaw’s voice fed through a synth and used as a detuned drone note, before a guitar solo rips through drenched in fuzzed distortion. Or lead single “Cold Reactor” which rolls and bops along at a pleasing, steady groove.

Overall, Mountainhead is perhaps best characterised by “Enter the Mirror", streamlined, yet with flourishes which add flavour and depth. Nowhere more clear than how it gives away to a restless kick-drum beat, then comes back in with guitar layered over its alt-pop chords. Although lacking the same emotive awe, Mountainhead is a well-earned, fine-tuned follow up full of its own personality.

While it paints a dystopian future, it links to religion and capitalism in our own time

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Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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